Wash your hands.
There's no better defense against germs and bacteria than regular hand washing. Make sure to thoroughly wash up before you head out for home to avoid bringing those germs back home with you.
- After you've completed your work out and you're just about to leave, stop by the bathroom to wash your hands. You want this to be the last thing you do before you leave. Don't wash your hands and then re-contaminate them by touching items in the locker room, water fountain or other surface.
- Make sure to follow proper hand washing techniques. Wet your hands thoroughly and then use soap to lather up. Scrub under your nails, on the tops and bottoms of your hands and your wrists for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands off and then dry with a paper towel or air dryer.
- You may also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Rub thoroughly on all parts of your hands for 10-20 seconds or until hands are dry.
Don't touch your face.
Another important piece to avoiding contact with germs is avoiding contact of your face. Whether it's your mouth, nose or eyes, these are openings to your body where germs can get in and make you sick.
- While you're working out, try to be mindful of how often you're touching your face. You may not realize how often you're touching your face during your workout.
- Spend a day really paying attention to how often you wipe sweat off your face, rub your eyes during your morning workout, or scratch your nose. Each time you do this, you're increasing the chance you contaminate yourself with germs.
- It will take some time to get used to your new routine of "no face touching." However, you'll be better off in the long-run.
Take care of cuts and scrapes.
In addition to your eyes, nose and mouth, germs can also make their way in through cuts and scrapes. Make sure that you take care of these before heading out to the gym.
- If you get a cut or scrape while you're at the gym, make sure you clean and sanitize the area. Beware of blisters or friction burns that you may also get while at the gym. There's a good chance it will get contaminated with germs in a gym environment.
- Thoroughly wash the cut or scrape with warm water and soap. You can also ask a staff member if they have a first aid kit with disinfectant cream as well.
- Use a band-aid or bandage to completely cover the cut or scrape. No open part should be exposed. Keep the area covered until the cut is completely healed.